Foster Children Put on Psychotropic Medication, Big Money for Foster Parents

johnny can poptrekkyandy/foter.comMint Press News explores the use of psychotropic medication in the foster care system, and specifically in Texas, starting with an example:

Hours after Texas Child Protective Services removed 5-year-old Tristen from the care of his mother and placed him in a foster home, Tristen’s foster parents took him to see a psychiatrist, citing concerns the young boy was depressed. That day, a psychiatrist prescribed Tristen three medications: one for anger, one for depression and one to help the 5-year-old relax.

Now an adult and out of the foster care system, Tristen says he recognizes he was depressed that day, but he says he never needed any medication — his feelings were only natural given the circumstances.

“They just took the thing that meant the most to me,” he said. “My family.”

Passed from foster home to foster home all over the state of Texas, Tristen says no one ever asked him how the pills made him feel, despite the fact that he would often spend time in his room crying because he felt his medicines were slowly tearing his chest apart.

Doctors also never tested Tristen to see whether the drugs were working or whether the combination of medications he was on was safe. And whenever he asked his case worker or foster parents if he could stop using the drugs, they threatened to call the police, take him to a psychiatric hospital or kick him out of the foster care system.

A psychologist to whom Mint Press talked to estimates 67 percent of foster children aged 13 to 17 in Texas are on at least one prescription medication, numbers he says are likely similar across the country. Foster parents receive about $17 a day per child they take care of but receive up to $1,000 a day for children with mental health issues, incentivizing them to find mental health problems in the children in their care. Read the rest of the article, which includes a quote from a former judge who doubts most CPS agents even know how to spell “investigation,” here.

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  • The O(H)G White Indian||

    Mind-altering artificial chemicals which we now deem necessary to prescribe to huge numbers of people just to help them make it through the day.

    I can't think of any better evidence for the fact that humans were not meant to live in this kind of civilization. The first agricultural emergent elites heralded the end of true humanity.

  • ||

    Holy shit.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I blame Epi for his re-emergence. FSM be damned if believed he was gone forever. GAMBOL AWAY!!!
    WOOOH HOOO!!!

  • ||

    Me?!? How am I to blame? Shouldn't you blame nicole because she is the worst?

  • Almanian!||

    I blame Bush

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Stop playing the role of shriek. Blame Wilson and FDR like a good libertarian.

  • Almanian!||

    Fuck off, slaver!

  • T||

    I thought we blamed Lincoln.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Nicole is literally worse than Hitler

  • Hyperion||

    Come to think of it... has anyone ever seen Nicole and White Indian at the same time?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I KNEW IT!!!

  • Hyperion||

    Well, at least she's original. White Indian was white before George Zimmerman was white!

  • NoVAHockey||

    RC vanishes, returns, and within a week or so, WI is back. right.

  • R C Dean||

    Hey, you try getting a wifi signal through cell block walls.

    I mean, uhh . . . .

  • Paul.||

    I... awesome...

  • WTF||

    She's baaack!

  • Monkey's Uncle||

    Cool story, bro.

  • The O(H)G White Indian||

    Nice to be missed.

  • R C Dean||

    So, if I follow, our hunter-gatherer ancestors had access to anti-depressants, but just didn't need them, and that's why they didn't use them?

  • Invisible Finger||

    They were like baseball players.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No wonder babies come out crying in advance.

  • Almanian!||

    nice

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Josh Ritter. Above average songwriter.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Lord Humungus squints as he looks up at the sky. His wish for a comet to strike the earth does not materialize. Instead, he is left with a dark, foreboding feeling of doom. This is the time, he says to himself, to fire up the engine and go for a nitrous fueled drive.

  • Almanian!||

    YOU'RE THE AYATOLLAH OF ROCK AND ROLLA! YOU'RE A FUEL INJECTED SUICIDE MACHINE!

  • SugarFree||

  • ||

    You will need your interstellar overdrive.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    WOOT!

    Does this mean shriek is taking a break?

  • R C Dean||

    My encounters with CPS in Texas were uninspiring, to say the least. Although I wasn't directly impacted, you may recall the big raid they conducted on the fundamentalist Mormons several years ago, where they seized over 100 children. It took me about 5 minutes, total, to look up and read the legal standard for such seizures, and conclude that the seizures were illegal.

    6 months later, the Texas Supreme Court agreed.

    Color me unsurprised that they are operating a system that creates huge incentives to inflict permanent damage on children.

  • Paul.||

    It took me about 5 minutes, total, to look up and read the legal standard for such seizures, and conclude that the seizures were illegal.

    6 months later, the Texas Supreme Court agreed.

    They were hoping for another Waco. Man were they disappointed. They brought marshmallows and everything.

  • ||

    I'm trying to think of anything the government does that doesn't create the worst possible incentives and attract the worst possible people for the job, and I can't.

  • Almanian!||

    start wars?

  • Hyperion||

    We have to abuse the children, to save them.

    /government

  • Invisible Finger||

    I always thought it a cruel joke that Child Protective Services and Chicago Public Schools had the same initials.

  • rac3rx||

    We are a Texas licensed CPS foster to adopt home. The people we've had contact with along the way have been very professional and have really cared about the kids for whom they're responsible. I'm not saying the system is perfect, or even great. I'm just saying that the people we've worked with do an admirable job and the best they can do in bad circumstances.

    Oh, and citation needed on the $1K a day kids. We've NEVER seen anything like that since we've been involved in the system.

  • Paul.||

    prescribed Tristen three medications: one for anger, one for depression and one to help the 5-year-old relax.

    On hold with this psychiatrist now...

  • Cliché Bandit||

    So the kid was reading H&R?

  • Paul.||

    Surely a regular commenter.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    a subscriber to The Agitator too?

    Certainly not a user of URKOBOLD!

  • kinnath||

    I was a foster parent for a teenager that really did develop full-blown psychosis during her stay with us. Mass drugging of teens and pre-teens that don't really need it just makes it that much harder to get help to kids that really need it. Mass drugging of kids just overwhelms the system while simultaneously causing a back lash where lots of people think that no kids should be drugged.

  • fish||

    The first agricultural emergent elites heralded the end of true humanity.

    Let the games begin........

    (Hi Rectal)

  • Almanian!||

    Ugh...these tales just infuriate me. So I gotta ignore it or my brain will explose.

    Good thing my doc has me on some meds to calm my nerves...

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Wait, how do I go about getting one of these $1,000 a day kids?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Step 1: Build dungeon in basement
    Step 2: Register with CPS
    Step 3: PROFIT

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    I've been hankering to read some superhumanly tedious commenters who iterate over the same 3 bullet points hundreds of times per month. Ideally, they should have absolutely no ability to converse intelligently with people who disagree with them, or even any trace of willingness to understand other people's arguments.

    shrike and sevo are okay, but they're still not tedious enough.

    I just wish I had some better options, that's all.

  • Almanian!||

    Evil demon summoner!

    I miss HERC, too.

    Oh, you meant...

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I still have my HERC 2012 yard sign.

  • ||

    You could always start a conversation with John about PED's in baseball.

  • Zeb||

    Sorry. MLB is a private organization, so you are not allowed to have an opinion on its rules.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    That would be tedious and frustrating, but John isn't as prone to bizarre non sequiturs as I'd like.

    Really, I need someone so repetitive that Reason has to implement registration just to keep her from derailing everything.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    So you like the cards STACKed against you? You find it awesome to GAMBOL across reply and threading?...you are worse than Hitler SF!

  • jorgeborges||

    $1,000 a day? I have trouble believing that.

  • ||

    So that's how Jason14429's cousin-roommate-mother makes $83 an hour just sitting at her computer!

  • Hyperion||

    So, we have to imprison people, ruin their lives, and take away their children, for using marijuana, for the children, so that we can then put the children in a strange home and fill them full of all types of dangerous drugs?

    In fiction, you couldn't make up shit this stupid and pure evil.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Kafka tried.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Somebody with talent (NOT SF DEAR GOD!!!) should collect a bunch of these stories and novelize them in a "distopian" future setting. Then at the end do what that one author does where he puts all the "Facts" at the end in an appendix and lays out how much was true with references to contemporary stories.

  • SweatingGin||

    I read that entirely as a novel of White Indian stories, and really had no idea why it shouldn't at least have a SF/Warty Hugeman crossover chapter.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    this made me giggle

  • SugarFree||

    Something about Warty dropping him off in the distant past and coming back to find him dead 12 hours later.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I recant my previous ban on your candidacy for authorship. Go forth and limn temporalslashfictionally with wonton abandon.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Thought of something similar that could be done with Balko's new book and be made into a movie.

  • Invisible Finger||

    MJ isn't APPROVED!

  • Zeb||

    Wasn't that recent story about the foster child being killed by the foster parent from Texas as well? Is the Texas CPS especially fucked up, or what?

  • MOFO.||

    You know what else foster parents get extra money for? Pregnant children. My wife saw a case where the aunt was the foster parent and encouraged both of her foster daughters to get pregnant so she could collect extra money to deal with 'problem children'

  • Invisible Finger||

    So PED's are OK?

    The hypocrisy is mind-boggling, I think I'll need a PED for that.

  • Zeb||

    They are OK as long as you don't want to take them and other people (who either work for the government or have MD after their name) order you to take them.

  • T||

    I'm a foster parent in the Texas system. I very sincerely doubt the state of Texas is kicking out 30,000 dollars a month to foster parents, especially for a single child.

    If so, I'm obviously doing it wrong. I get 21 dollars and change a day, or just over $660 a month.

  • ||

    Foster parents receive about $17 a day per child they take care of but receive up to $1,000 a day for children with mental health issues

    Sounds about right assuming your foster child isn't on psychotropics, according to the article.

    Have you tried putting them on psychotropics?

  • rac3rx||

    No, he's a year old.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Having been a foster parent in two states, I can tell you that there are no "$1000 a day" kids.

    They spend as little as possible on these kids.

    There IS overmedication--and dangerous medication(one of ours was being given an anti-psychotic that was not rated for children).

  • Ted S.||

    And whenever he asked his case worker or foster parents if he could stop using the drugs, they threatened to call the police, take him to a psychiatric hospital or kick him out of the foster care system.

    It sounds as though being kicked out of the foster care system wouldn't have been such a bad thing.

    I also presume he was made to take the drugs in front of them to prove he'd taken them, otherwise he could have faked taking them.

  • rac3rx||

    I have to call BULLSHIT here. All TX CPS kids have the explicit right to refuse medication. This point is stressed over and over.

    If the foster parents were forcing him take the meds against his will, he should've informed his case worker. That's not supposed to happen.

  • db||

    It says specifically that he asked his case worker if he could stop taking the drugs.

  • ||

    A lot of people benefit when a kid receives a psychiatric diagnosis. Forget foster care,it doesn't start there; savvy freeloaders know a diagnosis can net them monthly $700 SSI payments in their kid's name, the key to unlocking all sorts of other government goodies, like medicaid and free cell phones.

    The psychiatric profession, eager to expand its reach, has made such diagnoses increasingly easy to get. Bipolar disorder was once a clear cut diagnosis, prospective patients needing to exhibit a number of pretty severe symptoms over a period of time. The old rules prohibited such a diagnosis in a child, since symptoms rarely manifest in children. The solution was to change the criteria; bipolar has now been refashioned as a "spectrum" disorder, and children have been assigned their own diagnostic criteria, which allows an angry child to be labelled bipolar.

    I'm an adult who meets the old, strict definition of bipolar. Meds let me function independently. Along the way, though, I tried and rejected a lot of meds that made me sluggish and mentally slow; not only are those meds now being given to kids, many case workers and foster parents see those bugs as features--spaced out kids are more compliant, and require less personal attention than angry kids. Medicating angry kids has the added benefit of being a warning to other kids-- this is what happens if you make waves. Bottom line, as someone helped immensely by psych meds, I'd never have allowed my kids to be given any.

  • ||

    That's a really fascinating, personal insight. Thanks for sharing!

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm an adult who meets the old, strict definition of bipolar.

    So when a bipolar kid turns 18, are they magically required to meet the old standard, or is there simply a birth-year cut off for when you can get off easy?

  • ||

    Exactly!

    For real, though? Of course there's no magical date, but an 18 year old is at least legally empowered to say no, which is why it is a handy guideline.

  • db||

    Foster parents receive about $17 a day per child they take care of but receive up to $1,000 a day for children with mental health issues, incentivizing them to find mental health problems in the children in their care.

    Ho. Lee. Fuck.

    That makes me angry.

  • ||

    Why does CPS not take the child's wishes into account when deciding who gets custody? Here you have parent who wnat their kids back, and the kid wants to go back to his parents, and yet CPS is refusing to let them be together.

    In cases of real abuse, the child isn't going to want to return to an abusive home. And if you're in any doubt, you could just tr asking the kid how he feels about his parents.

    It's obviously not the only fact, but I would guess that the child knows a lot more about how his parents treat him than a CPS case worker.

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